Ricky Craven Trackside Report – Craven Takes 15th Starting Position

2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Gatorade 125’s, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida USA 12 February,2004 Ricky Craven, Rusty Wallace, Matt Kenseth © Michael Kim, USA LAT Photography

Ricky Craven drove his Tide Pontiac to a 15th place starting spot for the Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway. The qualifying time was a big improvement over the best practice time for the team. In the first lap of two qualifying attempts the car wiggled slightly in turn 1 but Craven held on to run his fastest lap. Starting 44th in a qualifying session that began late due to the Busch car qualifying running long, the team watched almost the entire field qualify before going out themselves. poker99
Tomorrow in an unusual schedule for a Winston Cup Saturday, the first practice is 8:15 a.m. After the Winston Cup practice, the Winston West cars actually race and the final Happy Hour practice begins at 11:10 after the conclusion of the race. The event on Sunday begins at noon PDT, or 3 p.m. on the east coast.

Craven Takes 15th at Auto Club 500

Ricky Craven drove the Tide Pontiac to a 15th place finish at the Sunday race in Fontana, CA. While Craven led one lap, the majority of the afternoon was spent between positions 8 and 15. The race had more cautions than normal for the California Speedway and one of them was based on Craven’s spin off of turn 4.
The car was tight in the first green flag run and the team worked on changing the handling to better suit Craven’s high line around the racetrack. Ultimately the team got the car freed up but at one point during the race Craven commented from the cockpit, “white knuckle loose”! Ricky continued to drive the car aggressively and eventually the car got loose in turn 4 and he spun near the exit. His commented, “I got greedy, but that’s what won us Darlington”.
In spite of the spin Ricky was able to stay on the lead lap. Near the latter stages of the race with the #32 Tide Pontiac once again charging to the front, the 17 car sent Ricky into the wall and adversely affected the handling.
The 15th place finish allowed the team to gain two positions in the standings, moving into 7th place. The next race is Saturday night under the lights at Richmond.